Tuesday, 14 October 2008

Speak like an Anglo-Saxon #6: Eco Special

I wonder what the Anglo-Saxons would have thought of our own lifestyles if they'd been able to time-travel forward... There's no doubt that a thousand years ago we English lived far more eco-friendly lives... no oil, no food miles (well, not counting the odd piece of imported Norwegian dried cod), local, sustainable produce, decentralised energy. The list goes on. To get by in the Anglo-Saxon economy you might need some of these:


Where has all the oil gone? = Hwær cwom ele?
[‘H-where cwom ey-le?’]

I use no oil = Ic bruce nan eles
[‘Itch brroo-ke nan ey-les’]

Now the watermill is turning = Nu seo myle bið wendende
[‘Noo sey-o mü-le bith wend-end-e’]

I make this cheese = Ic macie þas ciese
[‘Itch mak-i-e thas chee-eh-suh’]

Here are my chickens = Her sindon min cicen
[‘Hair sind-on min chicken’]

My home-turnips are better than these viking turnips = Mine hamnæpas beoð beteran þonne þas wicingan næpas
[‘Mee-ne haam-napas bey-oth better-an thon-ne thas wick-ing-an napas’]

Three chickens for your sheep = þrie cicen fore þine sceap
[‘Three-uh chicken for-e theen-e shee-ap’]

Can you mend my cloak? = Cannst þu minne bratt aseowan?
[‘Cannst thoo min-ne brrat a-say-o-wan?’]

1 comment:

filius-lupi said...

Are you sure that ele isn't a scribal error for æle? Actually that's quite scarey. What if we've already passed peak beer?